Tuesday, November 13, 2007

October 22, 2007

During our stay in Mombasa, we stayed at the Whitesands Hotel which was right on the beach. All four of us were together for the buffet breakfast, but scattered throughout the day. As we left breakfast, we saw there was an all-day breast cancer survivor support group meeting at the hotel. Mama E, a breast cancer survivor, decided to spend the day there.

A hotel driver took the rest of us to Nakumatt, a Target-like chain store that sells groceries, electronics, toys, appliances, clothes and furniture. We returned in time for afternoon tea, and the hotel staff’s painful attempt at entertainment – a game of African Roulette. I couldn’t figure out the rules, but instead became interested in the camels on the beach. Had I gone down to the beach and taken a photo with the camel, I would have had to pay the guy, hence this pretending-to-take-a-picture-of-me-but-really-trying-to-photograph-the-camel shot.

Me on the beach

Check out the camels!

Jennifer on the beach

Dinner was… interesting. The hotel band was entertaining, even though I didn’t care too much for the 60s American rock music they were playing. The lead singer’s dead-on Elvis impersonation got cheers from the audience. About halfway through dinner, a shouting match that practically came to blows broke out across the dining room. While the man was apparently avenging his insulted wife, I could only think of Jamie Foxx’s VMA comments (“we need to stop all this white-on-white crime”) while also worrying if he was armed. He eventually sat down and just glared at the man all night, and everyone else in the dining room cautiously watched him. Weird evening. Well, it ended early, I had a 6:30 am wakeup call tomorrow.


* While I’m aware October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I was surprised at the ubiquity of pink ribbons and breast cancer summits in Kenya. Isn’t the HIV/AIDS pandemic a bigger issue?

* The California wildfires dominated all the coverage on CNN International.

* Channel surfing – Tyra on Dubai One with Arabic subtitles; One on One; Two and Half Men; last season’s Desperate Housewives, Rubi, a Spanish soap opera poorly dubbed in English.

* There were eco-friendly messages all over Nakumatt – reuse your bags, how to recycle, how to save water, etc.

More photos:

Mombasa City Housing

Mombasa City Housing

Outside the hotel

Outside the hotel

Our driver

The driver who took us to Nakumatt

Jennifer in the matatu

Jennifer in the matatu (minibus) on the way to Nakumatt

Outside Nakumatt

Posing with Nakumatt’s mascot

Nakumatt in the minimall

Nakumatt’s minimall

The way to Nakumatt

Mombasa countryside

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